Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Agriculture, Fisheries and Consumer Affairs, Dr. Hermia Morton-Anthony, has announced that the legislation regarding pound fees for stray animals is being revised by her ministry.
The current pound fees stand at $45 for seizing of a cattle, and for receiving the cattle (at the pound), $15 for the daily up-keep of the cattle, $10 for transporting of the cattle after the first mile from the location of seizure and $1 thereafter for every mile to the respective pounds.
Anthony called on farmers to keep their animals tied, as they can be the cause of incidents that range from fences being trampled, vehicles being damaged, to crops being eaten.
Such incidents, she said, affect residents and individuals negatively because the country benefits when farmer’s crops and they receive the best possible yields.
Anthony added that the Department of Agriculture will do what is necessary to support the farmers even if it meant impounding stray animals and encouraged livestock owners, as well as dog owners, to keep their animals contained.
And to reinforce this plea, Finance Controller of the SSMC Transition Team, Ossie Martin, has also urged that farmers herd their animals, especially cattle, so they would not be a constant danger to the public.
“In the event they do not do this, they stand to lose their animals,” he told The Observer, adding, “that if after six days of public notice through the electronic media, an errand farmer does not claim his/her cattle then the animal is auctioned.”
In the event that an animal is not sold or claimed by an owner, Martin explained that it is slaughtered.
“We arrange with the Department of Agriculture for the cattle to be taken to the abattoir where persons buy the meat after the slaughtering.”
The press release stated there are two pounds open for business at Buckleys and at Mansions.
A third pound is currently under construction at Bourkes, Sandy Point. The pounds are manned by three teams of four persons each, who round up the stray animals during the morning and evening hours.